COLUMBIA — With the first football game of the season coming up on Aug. 31, it's not too early to anticipate the fun of tailgating.
Walking around MU on game day in the fall is an experience in and of itself. Across the southern edge of MU, students will be mingling, eating and playing toss games.
Cody Jaeger, a recent MU graduate, described tailgating as a giant barbecue: "It's a giant get-together, more for itself than the football game."
Jaegar said an entire Saturday should be reserved.
"Saturday is reserved for tailgating and college football," he said. "Sunday is for recuperating."
The university encourages tailgating "to enhance the game-day experience," with restrictions.
- University rules permit the consumption of alcoholic beverages at tailgate parties or picnic activities at NCAA intercollegiate athletic events only on the day of the event and in the general proximity of the event, including outdoor locations or in outdoor parking areas.
- In accordance with the alcoholic beverage laws of the state of Missouri, individuals must be at least 21 years old to purchase, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages.
Tailgating sites open at 8 a.m. on game day and must be cleared and cleaned by midnight, or three hours after the game (whichever is later).
The best place to tailgate is Lot X, between Virginia and College avenues, Jaeger said. This is where most of the fraternities and away fans tailgate. He likes it because of the people and its convenient location.
L.C. Chandler, an MU senior, said tailgates before Homecoming 2012 were among his favorites. He said seeing alums return to campus and try to "relive the college years" was fun to watch.
"It's funny watching so many people trying to fit in," Chandler said. "Come Saturday morning, you're with 20,000 of your closest friends until kickoff."